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Recover stolen garda gun at all costs, city detectives told

Gardai are searching for a high-powered Sig pistol that has been stolen from an officer's home.

Detectives are today investigating the theft of the weapon after it was stolen from the house of a Special Branch detective in Dublin.

In a move which mirrors popular TV show The Wire, senior officers have issued an order that the garda's weapon be recovered "at all costs".

In the TV show, criminal Omar Little brokers a deal with Baltimore police and recovers the weapon.

They have launched a hunt for the burglars and the Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol which belongs to a member of the Garda Special Detective Unit.

The SDU is the country's primary anti-terrorist unit and the weapon stolen is the most modern in the garda arsenal.

Valuables

Burglars who targeted the home late last week also made off with 50 rounds of ammunition.

The gun was locked in a safe at the officer's home along with valuables.

Gardai believe the theft of the weapon was just a coincidence and that it wasn't the reason the home was targeted.

The safe has been recovered by gardai in north Dublin. It had been prised open using heavy cutters.

The gun and ammunition are now in the hands of criminals.

Gardai are understandably anxious to retrieve the weapon.

"Obviously, it's not good news that any firearm is out there, but there is an active search for this one as it belongs to a member," a garda source said.

"We are keen to get it back as quickly as possible.

" The member did everything right, the gun was locked away in a special safe, but he was just unlucky that the burglars got it.

"We don't think his house was targeted because he was a member."

A Dublin-wide search is now under way for the weapon and gardai are hoping that they can intercept it before it is used for criminal purposes.

There is also the possibility that the petty thieves may sell the gun to organised crime gangs. Armed gardai are permitted to bring weapons back to their homes with them when they're off duty but they must take precautions.

Grenades

The theft is the latest security breach involving State weapons. Last March, training weaponry including guns and grenades were stolen from an Army barracks in Limerick.

The security breach was a major embarrassment for the Defence Forces and Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea, as it happened in his own constituency.

hnews@herald.ie